Jesus asserts the significance of believing on multiple occasions in the Gospels. The words faith, believe, and believing are mentioned over 100 times. These words are always from the same Greek word, pistis. The noun is translated faith and the verb is translated believe or believing. This arbitrary translation has caused massive confusion in the church. Faith is a religious, ethereal word with subjective definitions. I prefer believe as the translation because it’s universally understood.
Jesus only mentions great believing twice and little believing four times. I call great believing and little believing – the bookends of believing. In Matthew 15 Jesus mentions great believing for the second and last time. Mega believing is rare and significant.
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
A gentile woman cries out for Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter. She pleads to him as the son of David which is reserved for the jews.
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Jesus this woman in need. Does that seem to be loving? His disciples want to send her away.
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
The reason that he ignored her was his ministry was to Israel and not to the Gentiles. Jesus was faithful to his mission.
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
Gentiles were called dogs by the Israelites. They were deemed an inferior race. Jesus told the woman that he could not neglect his mission to serve her needs.
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
Her response is brilliant. She addresses him as Master, acknowledges her inferior position as a “dog”, and then points out that even puppies eat the scraps that fall off of the kitchen table.
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Jesus was impressed with her humility, persistence, and believing; which resulted in her daughter’s healing. Great believing is simple. Embrace humility, be persistent and believe God’s promise.